India's Supreme Court ruled Thursday that authorities must impose tighter regulation on the sale of acid, a common weapon in attacks on women.

The decision also requires the government to pay compensation to victims of acid attacks.

Judge R.M. Lodha's order calls for limits to be placed on the number of shops that can sell acid and for vendors to be required to maintain records of purchasers.

Shops that fail to keep registers of their customers will be punished with fines of up to 50,000 rupees ($838).

The high court also ruled that the government must compensate each victim of an acid attack with 300,000 rupees ($5,029).

The order comes two days after the executive branch, at judicial urging, presented a series of proposals on that subject with the aim of stemming the growing number of attacks using acid.

The move was motivated by the long struggle of Laxmi, a young woman who in 2005 was attacked by an angry suitor and a year later filed a lawsuit with the Supreme Court with the aim of forcing the state to monitor and control the sale of acids.

Acid is very accessible in India, where a liter costs about 30 rupees (50 cents), and it is generally used to clean toilets and plumbing. EFE